The classification of non ferrous metals includes a wide variety of metals. These metals could be hard and brittle while others are soft, and they have many different uses. The main thing that classifies non ferrous metals is their very low quantity of iron. Non ferrous metals have little to no iron, which means they are not magnetic. This metal gets its name because of the Latin word “Ferrum” meaning iron. This is why iron’s chemical element symbol is ‘Fe’, and why these metals are called non ferrous.
Examples of nonferrous metals are aluminum, copper, lead, zinc and tin. Precious metals like gold and silver are also non ferrous metals. These metals are often much more malleable than others, this makes them the perfect metal to use in a myriad of tools and resources. They are also rarer than other metals and have a higher price value. Because they have such a low iron content, they are more resistant to rust and corrosion. Non ferrous metals can withstand many environments, but they are a nonrenewable resource, leading recycling to be the next best resource for such metal.
Given the name, ferrous metals contain iron, while non ferrous metals do not, this is just the basic difference between ferrous and nonferrous metals. Nonferrous metals do not rust and they have no magnetic properties, which already determines the different uses each metal has. Non Ferrous and ferrous metals also hold distinctive properties that determine how they can be used.
Non ferrous metals have played a role in civilization since 5,000 BC, and have helped civilizations technologically evolve. Ferrous metals have been prominent in industrialization, as alloy steel, carbon steel, cast iron, and wrought iron have had many uses. Carbon steel is used for skyscrapers, bridges, and other ferrous metals are used for shipping containers, industrial piping, railroad tracks, and more. Non ferrous metals are used for environments where they would have long exposures to liquid or electric currents.
Because ferrous metals are magnetic, they are also perfect for motors and electrical appliances. They are often found in cars and are used daily on the front of refrigerators to stick magnets and notes to. Non-ferrous metals like aluminum, copper, and nickel are used daily as well for purposes like kitchen appliances, currency, and soda cans. Both ferrous and non-ferrous metals have a crucial role in manufacturing and technology, though their differences have a great impact on how they are used.
The properties of non ferrous metals are crucial for manufacturing certain products that, for example, cannot be magnetic. This creates a higher demand for non ferrous metals which are already rarer to find than ferrous metals. Non ferrous metals, therefore, have a higher price value and are held to a different standard than ferrous metals.
Recyclable metals are often found in scrap yards from manufacturers’ waste. This means that nonferrous metals and ferrous metals are combined. If ferrous and non ferrous metals are not separated in the recycling process, they will not be able to be valued correctly. The non ferrous metals will often be graded at the ferrous metal value, pricing them lower than their true value.
Many products use both ferrous and non ferrous metals. When these products need to be recycled, the first step is to separate the ferrous and nonferrous metals. When non ferrous metals are separated, they can be evaluated correctly, and the metal will be bought at a higher price. This will positively impact individuals or businesses that wish to recycle their non ferrous metal.
Metal recycling companies retrieve their metals through manufacturing waste and scrap yards and can include pieces of different products, or things like aluminum cans. The process of recycling non ferrous metals is not too different from recycling ferrous metals. The biggest difference is in making sure the metals are separated.
Separating the metals is usually done by using a magnet. The magnet picks up the metals with iron and leaves behind the non ferrous metals. The metals left behind are further inspected, usually with X-ray technology, to determine if they have a higher amount of iron than what can be determined as nonferrous.
Once the non ferrous metals are separated, they are then shredded so that they can be easily handled. The metal is then further purified by smelting, which separates the impurities and other contents from the metals so that they are brought to their purest form possible. The metals can be better used for manufacturing in their purest form. Once the metal is purified, it is remelted so that it can be shaped for transportation. Recycling companies often shape metals into bars and bullions so that they can be shipped to manufacturers to be reused in new products.
Non ferrous metals have a high value and an important role in manufacturing many products, though they are a nonrenewable resource. Non ferrous metals are extracted from the earth the same as ferrous metals, though they are even rarer to find. The extraction process is expensive with equipment, workers, and is time-consuming. The process is also detrimental to the earth’s environment.
The extraction process of metals is the culprit of almost half of the earth’s carbon emissions, and negatively impacts the earth’s biodiversity. Extraction is still necessary, as today’s technology depends on many different metals. Nonferrous metals do not rust or corrode, making them necessary for products like liquid, chemical, and sewage pipelines, and electronic applications. The next best way to meet the demand for nonferrous metals is to recycle.
Like ferrous metals, nonferrous metals do not lose value when they are recycled. Many metal recycling companies are dedicated to recycling metals and returning them to their original quality. These recycling companies help meet the demand for many metals, help the economy by creating new jobs, and help the environment by lessening the need for extraction. Non ferrous metals have their unique qualities and role in manufacturing, and recycling such metals can continue their dependability.
Majestic Corporation has been a leading precious metals recycling, non-ferrous metals and Catalytic converter provider for around five decades. With a presence in the United States, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Italy, Mexico, Australia, Hong Kong and more, as well as a network of precious metals refineries around the world, we work with major customers and partners in a transparent and discrete manner and only offer the highest quality services at competitive prices.
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